Of all the public statements regarding a cure for COVID-19 – from therapy of cow urine to drinking rum with pepper and two eggs – that of Karnataka’s health minister is the most frightening. “Only God can save us,” he said. Now, unless by “god” he means “science” (thus providing the first recorded example of faith bringing science in through the back door, when trafficking is usually done the other way around), we should be afraid. . Very, very scared, as the Stephen King movie posters tell us.
Perhaps, to give him the benefit of the doubt, he simply reminds us that God helps those who help themselves, and thus tells non-wearers of masks and those who are keen on social convergence that it is not. a way to help themselves.
Whether the blockages helped or not, the consequences of lifting them were not good. And the time lag (about two weeks) between cause and effect leads many to believe that the virus is gone. We tend to bet on our prejudices, after all.
Authorities haven’t emphasized enough the importance of the three things that keep the virus at bay – wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing. The blockades were meant to save them time to prepare hospitals and beds. Given the time to prepare for the upcoming tests, children prefer to watch TV, others to read or chat with experts. Politicians think this is a wonderful opportunity for some internal fighting.
India has just passed the million mark and Karnataka is the fastest growing COVID-19 state in the country. Masks can no longer be a personal choice. The question has divided otherwise intelligent people, however.
As Tolstoy did not say, all mask wearers are alike; every non-mask wearer has their own reason, ranging from cosmetics to politics. Some don’t wear them because it interferes with what they consider to be their beauty, others because it’s embarrassing, especially if they wear glasses. A third group has a problem with masculinity, believing that being seen wearing a mask somehow diminishes their image. Then there is the rebel who doesn’t want to wear because others tell him to.
Some believe this is a “safe” way to protest the government in general. Maybe they’re unhappy with the situation in China, maybe it’s a belated reaction to demonization. Maybe they didn’t think protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act was good for their bones.
Former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav explained his reason for having nine children this way: The government of the day said family planning was important, “ek ya do bas” was the slogan. But since he was in opposition, he had to oppose government policy and thus had more than four times the prescribed number. Not wearing a mask is easy.
Non-carriers are just as likely to ignore social distancing standards and hand washing instructions.
There is a simple slogan that authorities can publicize: wear a mask today or a respirator tomorrow. It’s not particularly pleasant, but neither is COVID-19.